Into the Nightmare: My Search for the Killers of President John F. Kennedy and Officer J.D. Tippit – Book Review

You may know writer Joseph McBride as a writer of film biographies, criticism, several AFI Life Achievement Award ceremonies, or even the screenplay of Rock n Roll High School.  What you may not know about McBride is that in the year 1960 the then young man attended a rally on the Milwaukee campaign leg of John F. Kennedy as well as attending another rally that was immortalized in the film Primary. 

Camelot would end on November 22, 1963 and McBride was in shock that the young President he so admired was felled by an assassin’s bullet. 

The shock of the murder and his skepticism of the reported facts would compel McBride to stage his own investigation into what really happened to on that day in Dallas, Texas.  This year will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the day that the “nightmare” became reality and left many with vivid memories of where they were when they heard that the youthful, vibrant President was dead.  What may differ this book from others is that McBride is an old school journalist of the kind perhaps missing in today’s sound bite, tweet obsessed media.   

The book is a labor of love since the story and investigation affected him so deeply.  The book is broken down into three acts.  The first is about the young McBride and his brush with Kennedy and his shock at the assassination, as well as his seminal interest in journalism and the pursuit of the truth that would end in the publication of this book.  The second part brings together the copiously researched evidence and the third and final act delves deeply into the murder of Officer J.D. Tippit and his belief that these events are the Rosetta stone of his theory. 

His stature allows him to interview some heretofore untapped, silent voices and public figures on the matter as well as being able to question famous faces from the events.  Along the way he highlights personal memories and cultural analysis as he doggedly pursues what really happened.  I won’t spoil his conclusions, to discover them you’ll have to purchase this excellent book.